• Title: James Milton Turner and the Promise of America: The Public Life of a Post-Civil War Black Leader
  • Author: Gary R. Kremer
  • ISBN: 9780826207807
  • Page: 488
  • Format: Hardcover
  • James Milton Turner and the Promise of America The Public Life of a Post Civil War Black Leader America had seemed to promise James Milton Turner and all other members of his race equal rights and equal opportunities after the Civil War As this first book length biography of Missouri s most prom
    America had seemed to promise James Milton Turner and all other members of his race equal rights and equal opportunities after the Civil War As this first book length biography of Missouri s most prominent nineteenth century African American political figure argues, Turner possessed a deep and abiding faith in America The Civil War, he believed, had purged the land of itAmerica had seemed to promise James Milton Turner and all other members of his race equal rights and equal opportunities after the Civil War As this first book length biography of Missouri s most prominent nineteenth century African American political figure argues, Turner possessed a deep and abiding faith in America The Civil War, he believed, had purged the land of its sins and allowed the country to realize what had always been its promise the creation of a social and political environment in which merit, not race or any other accident of birth, mattered Those beliefs led Turner to become a fierce advocate of black political and civil rights.Born a slave, Turner gained his freedom when he was four years old and received his education in clandestine St Louis schools After briefly attending Oberlin College in Ohio, he worked as a porter in Missouri before becoming an aide to a Union officer at the advent of the Civil War A self taught lawyer, Turner served as secretary of the Missouri Equal Rights League from 1865 to 1867, traveling the state first as a spokesman for black suffrage and then as a representative of the State Superintendent of Education Turner s work earned him a statewide reputation, and he wielded power far out of proportion to Missouri s relatively small black population.In 1871, as a reward for Republican party service, President Ulysses S Grant appointed Turner Minister Resident and Consul General to Liberia Turner returned to America in the late 1870s and quickly joined a relief effort aimed at helping black refugees fleeing the Redeemed South Subsequently, he aided former slaves of the Cherokee Nation in their attempt to secure full tribal rights, including a share of federal funds paid for land cessions Nonetheless, Turner never regained the prominence he had enjoyed during Reconstruction, and, in the end, the promise of America failed Turner and African Americans in general.This fascinating and well researched biography provides an insightful portrayal of James Milton Turner s public life Anyone with interest in nineteenth century American history, African American history, or Missouri history is sure to find this study of great importance.

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